Roach-filled rubbish heap - outside door

The corridor filled with rubbish outside the couple's flat before it was cleared by members of the Town Council.

SINGAPORE - For 10 years, Miss Fiona G and her family lived with heaps of rubbish outside their front door - thanks to their hoarder neighbour.

The nurse, 28, said her neighbour's four-room flat in Woodlands is completely filled with junk, so the woman, who looks to be in her 50s, resorted to leaving rubbish outside.

The heap contained scraps of paper and newspaper as well as rotten food and used food containers.

Sometimes, there were umbrellas, strollers and trolleys, also stuffed with rubbish.

Miss Fiona said the rubbish blocked the corridor and hindered her family members from accessing their own flat.

And the smell was so bad that they kept their windows and door closed at all times. The corridor was also infested with pests.

"There were always cockroaches crawling around because there was so much rubbish.

"You can see in her flat that they're all over the place, on the floor, on the walls. They crawl into our flat. It's quite disgusting," Miss Fiona said.

Her family had tried to reason with the neighbour, who is married, several times over the years, but to no avail.

"My mum tried to talk to her a few times, but she can't understand English very well. Usually she will just start shouting at my mum," she said.

Her family has even called the police.

They had advised the couple to clear the rubbish and warned them the area could be a breeding zone for aedes mosquitoes. But the problem persisted.

Miss Fiona said the woman and her husband moved into the flat about 10 years ago. After a few months, they started leaving rubbish outside their flat.

She said: "As soon as she got rid of some stuff, she would bring home other things. And these aren't things you can sell, it's just rubbish."

Miss Fiona said the woman spends most of her time sitting in the corridor amid the rubbish as there is hardly any space in her home. She even sleeps in the corridor. It is believed her husband sleeps in the flat.

Miss Fiona said there was also a stench of urine from the common stairwell.

But her main concern was safety.

"The rubbish could collect water and mosquitoes will breed. It was also a fire hazard because there was a lot of paper."

Sembawang Town Council workers cleared the corridor of rubbish last week after the latest complaint from the family.

Miss Fiona's family has complained about five times over the last ten years.

A spokesman for Sembawang Town Council said it had been advising the couple not to leave junk at the common corridor.

Warning

He said the couple had been served advisory notices and warnings and that its workers would remove any junk from the common corridor, should they fail to comply.

He added that arrangements have been made to visit the family again to understand their needs and render assistance to them.

When The New Paper went to the flat on Tuesday, the woman was sitting outside, clearing away the last of the rubbish in the corridor.

Her door was ajar and heaps of junk could be seen inside, piled so high that they were just half a metre from the ceiling.

The woman was hostile, yelling vulgarities at her neighbours and accusing them of complaining about her. Her husband was not around.

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